Augmented Reality in Retail: Revolutionizing Sales
The uses of Augmented Reality (AR) goes well beyond entertainment, and that’s what we’ve been trying to show with our Marketing InSights. The same way that video usage has evolved and today is a major part of every marketing strategy, Augmented Reality is following the same path.
In other articles, I spoke about the technology being used at industry events and for training purposes. Now I’m going to take you to another area that is going through a transition due to Augmented Reality.
Why talk about Augmented Reality in Retail?
Think about how you shop today. While at a store, you can grab your cell phone and compare prices of the same product at a different store. Without a doubt, you can do this comparison with a quick search on Google. Actually, you don’t even need to leave the comfort of your house to shop, given the ever-growing evolution of e-commerce (hence the reason why many stores are closing physical locations and focusing on online shopping).
As consumers, shopping has never as easy as it is today. But as marketing professionals and/or business owners, it has never been so difficult to grab and retain the customer’s attention.
Augmented Reality in retail is used as a tool to attract consumer through an interactive and immersive experience. On top of that, it allows retailers to:
- Strengthen the relationship between their brand and their consumers
- Increase consumer engagement
- Increase the purchase decision
- Give consumers a fun and attractive experience
- Increase sales
TIP: If you still don’t know how Augmented Reality works, I put together a guide with video examples and a free AR Experience app. Make sure you check it out!
But what exactly has made the demand for AR in retail increase?
The main reason is the increase in online stores. E-commerce stores are feeling the pressure of bringing the consumer’s shopping experience at a physical store to their online stores.
Another factor that explains the popularity of Augmented Reality in retail are mobile devices.
Examples of Augmented Reality in Retail
Let’s start off by seeing some examples in home furniture and décor. Many companies are using AR to help their consumer virtually place furniture in their homes to see what it would look like. As is the case with IKEA:
Another great example comes from the paint brand Dulux. With their app, consumers can choose a paint color and see exactly how that color would look on their walls.
In both cases, all their customer needs to do is download a simple app.
Now let’s say you want to buy a pair of sunglasses at an online store. You’re going to agree with me that with glasses, it’s a good idea to try them on before making a purchase so you can see if the size and color match your style and fits the shape of your face.
If the online store has an AR app, you would be able to “try” the sunglasses without leaving your couch by simply using their app.
Retailer Zara has also been using Augmented Reality at their stores. With their free app (Zara AR Studio), users can simply point their camera to Zara’s store windows or to one of their mannequins and watch a video of a model wearing their clothes.
Next, the customer can access an interface and purchase the related items.
Ok but only big retailers can afford Augmented Reality, right?
Absolutely NOT! I completely understand your concern, after all, Augmented Reality in retail looks like it would cost an abundance of $$, but the technology is becoming more affordable every day.
AR can be used in many different retail sectors. If you’d like to learn more about how Augmented Reality can help attract people to your brand and products and/or increase your sales, let me know!
‘Till next time!